Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Book #57

After the heavy lifting (both figurative and literal) of War and Peace, book #57, That Old Cape Magic, by Richard Russo, felt as light as a piece of fluff. Still, there was something wonderful about reading a book in a couple of hours and not having to contemplate free will and the law of necessity even once.

Jack Griffin, a protagonist who will seem quite familiar to readers of Russo's other books (of which I am one), is a retired screen writer who now teaches screen writing. He's followed his parents into an academic career, but his memories of his parents and his childhood are mostly negative. He's trying to write a short story about a summer the family spent on the Cape while he was a boy. He's going to weddings, including his daughter's. He's dealing with his marriage to Joy.

I didn't enjoy this as much as I have others of Russo's books. (For some reason I kept thinking of Anne Tyler the whole way through - the characters had her kind of whimsical feeling to them.) Usually Russo writes much more evocatively of places and his books have more depth to them than this one. But maybe I'm just comparing him to Tolstoy!

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